During one of the bands, I saw a young couple. They couldn't have been older than 17. He was tall and gangly. She was short and gangly. They were both little emo kids with their little punk belts and their tight fitting retro t-shirts and their basic black frames. Hell, I probably outweigh both of them put together. They were both sitting together, propped up against a wall watching Air Tight Alibi kick it out. I don't know what it was about them that caught my eye. They were no different than anyone else there, unique little flowers just like everyone else in the room. Of course, since I have to watch everyone, I had to get to them eventually.
I saw him lean over her and give her a kiss on the lips. It was tender without being sappy, passionate without being lustful. And she kissed him back, putting her hand behind his neck to pull his lips closer. He took her other hand and they sat there in that kiss for what seemed almost like an eternity before they pulled back apart into one entity again.
I felt a little ashamed at first. I felt like I was barging in on someone else's perfect secret moment. Then I felt a little touched. The last place I expected to have such a moment of beauty was in a sweat filled room, surrounded by sound and the movement of a miniature human tide.
More than anything, I think I felt a little cowed. I mean, I don't remember being young and in love and loved in return. And I don't remember because I never was. Oh, sure, I "fell in love" but it was always an inaccessible thing. There would always be an object of my desire, but there were so many things that I didn't understand. It wasn't the same as it was in movies and books, the true objects of my affection. It was never as clean and clear cut as "I like you, I'll get you to like me and we'll live happily ever after or until we go to college" like I would watch every day on some show. I didn't realize that "longing" wasn't romantic, just wasteful, an incubator of bitterness and a wall going up between me and happiness. I didn't know that someone who is close might not be right or even fitting to be with or, conversely, that it might come from an unexpected direction. More than anything, I didn't understand that when it presents itself, it is sometimes a complex affair, not the simplicity I thought it would be. I've spent the entirety of my life wrestling with and trying to undo the mistakes of my youth. And yet, these two seemed to have figured out so many things so quickly.
Maybe these kids today are smarter than I'll probably ever be. Maybe that's why generations war. I think it's envy. The old have what the young think they want and the young have what the old know they want. The sadness is that the young will get what they're after and learn that the price of getting what you want is having what you once wanted.
But that didn't matter last night to them or to me. Last night, I saw a moment of beauty. If I'm lucky, I'll get to carry it with me as I get older. I won't be lucky, though, because it is the doom of men that they forget.
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